as if by magic

by uzwi

Magic, communal imaginative baptism and immersive storytelling will explain, solve and salve everything in a life. One thing I look forward to after the virus is the collapse of that complex of ideas–if only because the rediscovery of the real may, paradoxically, by sidelining acts of imagination, reinvigorate and repurpose them. For forty years or so, fantasy made itself the frame through which everything else was visualised and organised. It became the uncontested lingua franca of economics, advertising, media, corporate environmental exploitation and politics; it informed the edutainment of the toddlers who grew into the conspiracy theorists who are now helping to dissolve civil society. It led to the pure Randista-manipulated fantasy in which we’re condemned to live. A bit of fantasy makes life bearable; it can be helpful in making metaphors; but once it becomes your explanatory framework, you are addicted. One narrative’s too many, a million aren’t enough. Someone’s always out there with the Unicorn Brand ice cream van, waiting to take your money and top you up. You’d think that imaginative writers were ideally placed to identify and engage this abuse of their metier–reaffirm and strengthen the distinction between the real and the fantastic to the benefit of both–but somehow they don’t.